Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. The incidence of breast cancer has been on rise for years. Technology has not advanced enough to ensure early detect ion and treatment.
To address this issue, IIT Madras, Paterson Cancer Center & National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology have collaborated to develop an indigenous IR Mammographic Unit for non-invasive screening technique for early breast cancer detection.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between the three institutes on July 21.
Under this MoU, IIT Madras will develop the technology (thermal imager and diagnosis software), the Patterson Institute will handle all the clinical issues and National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology will provide all the cameras and computers needed for the success of the project.
Dr S Vijayaraghavan, chief clinical oncologist, Paterson Cancer Center, said, "The cost of x-ray mammogram through a good quality mammographic device is around Rs 2,000 which would mean a woman who does labor would have to earn Rs 7 per day to get the check up done annually. This project aims to create a trial of a full-fledged solution to develop a homegrown thermal imaging camera (and associated software) and a mass breast cancer screening program that will bring down the cost of cancer screening from Rs 2000 to Rs 200 and would be of immense benefit to the society."
The project is cost-effective and cores of women could get more than a yearly diagnosis done without worrying about the expenditure.
Professor Kamakoti Veezhinathan, RISE lab, department of computer science and engineering at IIT Madras, said the team will focus on developing software and hardware infrastructure that can enable accurate mass screening for breast cancer detection.
"Our thermo mammogram is non invasive and records the temperature difference that takes place inside the breast due to increased blood supply, metabolic activities as well as a high glycolysis that are associated with the tumor cell multiplication," Veezhinathan explained.
Thermal imaging techniques can help detect cancer. It detects changes in the underlying metabolic activity and vascular circulation at the onset of cancerous tumors. This can be done even before the tumors are large enough to be detected by physical examination, mammography or other types of imaging.
V.Krishnamurthy, director-in- charge, NIELTT Chennai, "Research shows that you begin learning from small things, for us in NIELIT it is a new beginning of learning to do research and product development and a feather in our cap. This triparty agreement in research will take us to new heights especially with the support of IIT Madras, Chennai and Paterson Cancer Center for doing things for Made In India."